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Human Ecologist

Human ecologists help people enhance their well-being and quality of life at home, at work and in the community. They provide advisory, counselling, management, research and education services related to family functioning, parenting, consumer issues, money management, textiles and clothing, and community resources.

  • Avg. Salary $66,952.00
  • Avg. Wage $35.85
  • Minimum Education 4 years post-secondary
  • Outlook below avg
  • Employed 4,500
  • In Demand Medium
Also Known As

Home Economist

NOC Codes

In Canada, the federal government groups and organizes occupations based on a National Occupational Classification (NOC) system. This alis occupation may not reflect the entire NOC group it is part of. Data for the NOC group can apply across multiple occupations.

The NOC system is updated every 5 years to reflect changes in the labour market. Government forms and labour market data may group and refer to an occupation differently, depending on the system used. Here is how this occupation has been classified over time:

  • 2006 NOC: Home Economists (4164.2) 
  • 2006 NOC-S: Social Policy Researchers, Consultants and Program Officers (E034) 
  • 2011 NOC: Social policy researchers, consultants and program officers (4164) 
  • 2016 NOC: Social policy researchers, consultants and program officers (4164) 
Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

Average Wage
  • Certification Provincially Regulated
  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg
Interest Codes
The Human Ecologist is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).
Home Economists

Interest in co-ordinating information to conduct research on the development of new products, to discover facts on food and nutrition, and to test the uses of new products and materials


Interest in consulting to advise consumers on the selection and proper use of food products, textiles and other consumer goods; may also provide consultative services in the areas of development and promotion of new food products, retail buying, social program administration and small business endeavours


Interest in handling food products, textiles and other consumer goods for research and demonstration purposes

Reading Interest Codes
A Quick Guide

The interest code helps you figure out if you’d like to work in a particular occupation. 
It’s based on the Canadian Work Preference Inventory (CWPI), which measures 5 occupational interests: Directive, Innovative, Methodical, Objective and Social.

Each set of 3 interest codes is listed in order of importance.

A code in capital letters means it’s a strong fit for the occupation.

A code in all lowercase letters means the fit is weaker.

Learn More

Updated Mar 31, 2019

Human ecologists are multidisciplinary specialists. They combine and apply several fields of study to provide services to children, youth, and families. They use a holistic, preventative approach to help people manage their daily lives for the best possible outcomes.

To do this, they apply skills in communication, creative problem solving, research, and critical analysis on a wide range of topics. These include:

  • Parenting and intimate relationships
  • Financial management
  • Consumer education
  • Community development
  • Family challenges
  • Meal planning, food preparation and food choices
  • Small business development and entrepreneurship
  • Sustainability within the fashion industry
  • Fashion supply chain management
  • Comfort and safety of protective clothing
  • Design of clothing and home environments for persons with disabilities

Human ecologists may:

  • Provide leadership for organizational and community development as well as program planning and evaluation
  • Serve as consultants, designers, managers or quality controllers to organizations that provide services to individuals and families
  • Provide human resources and consumer or public relations services
  • Advise and coach individuals on career development, retirement planning or personal style
  • Research the impact of public policy on children, seniors and families
  • Research and evaluate the impact of public policy in the fields of gender, health, aging and disability
  • Work with community agencies to coordinate volunteers
  • Serve community agencies as financial counsellors, family outreach workers, life skills facilitators, rehabilitation workers or consumer advocates
  • Specialize in fashion merchandising, fashion sustainability, protective clothing design or apparel design or production
  • Offer expertise in interior decorating, textile science, innovative protective materials or quality control
  • Work as public school teachers, college or university instructors, education consultants, curriculum and program developers or adult educators
  • Work in government as researchers, health educators, information specialists or product developers
  • Offer services to government in policy development, advocacy or marketing
  • Work as museum collections researchers, curators or technicians
Working Conditions
Updated Mar 31, 2019

Human ecologists work with the private, public, and not-for-profit sectors in a wide range of office and field settings. Some apply their skills in corporate and government office environments. Others work in manufacturing plants, retail stores, small businesses, or social service agencies. Depending on the nature of their job, they may work evenings and weekends. Some jobs may require travel.

  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg
Skills & Abilities
Updated Mar 31, 2019

Human ecologists need:

  • Adaptability and creativity
  • Management, organizational and leadership skills
  • Communication and presentation skills
  • Interpersonal and relationship-building skills
  • A team-oriented, collaborative approach

They should enjoy:

  • Coordinating and synthesizing information
  • Developing innovative approaches to problems
  • Working with clients and customers
Educational Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2019

The minimum educational requirement is a 4-year bachelor of science (B.Sc.) degree in home economics, human ecology, family and consumer sciences, nutrition and food sciences, textiles and clothing, or equivalent.

Required Education

The following schools offer programs and courses that meet this occupation’s educational requirements. Other eligible programs and courses may be available.

Related Education

The following schools offer programs or courses that are related to this occupation but are not required to enter the field.

University of Alberta

For a broad list of programs and courses that may be related to this occupation try searching using keywords.

Certification Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2019

Human Ecologist/Home Economist

Human ecologists and home economists develop, interpret, integrate and apply the principles of human ecology and home economics to enhance the quality of life of individuals and families. This includes advising individuals, families, organizations and communities, disseminating information, conducting research and planning, and conducting and evaluating related educational programs.


Professional Human Ecologist and Professional Home Economist are protected titles under Alberta's Professional and Occupational Associations Registration Act and Human Ecologist and Home Economist Regulation. This means that to call yourself a Professional Human Ecologist or Professional Home Economist, you must be a registered member of the Alberta Human Ecology and Home Economics Association (AHEA). You do not have to be registered if you do not call yourself a Professional Human Ecologist or Professional Home Economist.

What You Need

Registration as a professional member of AHEA requires a degree in human ecology or home economics that includes the history, philosophy and ethics of professional practice, or an approved equivalent program, or an equivalent combination of education and experience. For official, detailed information about registration requirements, visit the AHEA website or contact AHEA.

Working in Alberta

Human ecologists and home economists who are registered and in good standing with a regulatory organization elsewhere in Canada may be eligible for registration in Alberta if registered practitioners in the two jurisdictions have similar responsibilities and competencies. For more information, see What if I am already certified in another province or territory? and the Alberta regulatory authority (below).

Contact Details

Alberta Human Ecology and Home Economics Association
17508 - 57 Avenue NW
Edmonton, Alberta
Canada  T6M 1G7
Phone number: 780-914-6638
Fax number: 780-481-7448

Employment & Advancement
Updated Mar 31, 2019

Human ecologists may be employed by or work on a contract basis for:

  • Consulting firms
  • Government
  • Utility companies
  • Food commodity organizations
  • Home decorating firms
  • Apparel and fashion manufacturers or retailers
  • Not-for-profit social service agencies
  • International aid and development agencies
  • School boards
  • Small businesses

They may move into a wide range of occupations. For example, with additional education a human ecologist may advise on nutrition as a dietitian in a hospital or food service institution. A human ecologist who prefers teaching can share their knowledge with students as a secondary school teacher or college, technical or vocational instructor.

Research positions generally require a post-graduate (master’s or doctoral) degree. Examples include policy analyst within the government sector or conservator or curator in the museum sector. For more examples, see Related Occupations.

Human ecologists are part of the larger 2011 National Occupational Classification 4164: Social policy researchers, consultants and program officers. In Alberta, 76% of people employed in this classification work in the following industries:

The employment outlook (pdf) in this occupation will be influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • Trends and events affecting overall employment (especially in the industries listed above)
  • Location in Alberta
  • Employment turnover (work opportunities generated by people leaving existing positions)
  • Occupational growth (work opportunities resulting from the creation of new positions that never existed before)
  • Size of the occupation

Employment turnover is expected to increase as members of the baby boom generation retire over the next few years.

In Alberta, the 4164: Social policy researchers, consultants and program officers occupational group is expected to have a below-average annual growth of 1.8% from 2019 to 2023. In addition to job openings created by employment turnover, 77 new positions are forecasted to be created within this occupational group each year.

NOC groups often include several related occupations. Although there is labour market data for the larger NOC group, this occupation makes up only a part of that group. It means data for this occupation may be different than the data shown. For example, only some of the 77 new positions to be created will be for this occupation. It also applies to other data for the NOC group such as number of people employed.


Wage & Salary
Updated Mar 31, 2019
Social policy researchers, consultants and program officers

Survey Methodology

Survey Analysis

Overall Wage Details
Average Wage
Average Salary
Hours Per Week

Hourly Wage
For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $22.15 $41.92 $30.87 $28.88
Overall $23.99 $50.38 $35.85 $31.87
Top $26.92 $55.19 $39.73 $37.55

Swipe left and right to view all data. Scroll left and right to view all data.

* All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production) and other forms of compensation.

A: High Reliability
Data Reliability Code Definition

High Reliability, represents a CV of less than or equal to 6.00% and 30 survey observations and/or represents 50% or more of all estimated employment for the occupation.

Industry Information
Public Administration
Health Care & Social Assistance
Educational Services

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years


Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties


Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months


Vacancy Rate

Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Human Ecology, Fashion and Food Sciences
Other Sources of Information
Updated Mar 31, 2019

Alberta Human Ecology and Home Economics Association (AHEA) website:

Get information and referrals about career, education, and employment options from Alberta Supports.

Updated Mar 31, 2019. The information contained in this profile is current as of the dates shown. Salary, employment outlook, and educational program information may change without notice. It is advised that you confirm this information before making any career decisions.

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